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Call for papers: Emerging voices and pathways to inclusive disaster studies

Source(s):  Emerald Group Publishing Limited (Emerald)

Overview of special issue

The field of disaster studies faces a number of major challenges linked to power, prestige and values. Research impact and success are often measured on the basis of the perspectives and priorities of leading institutions in high income countries. Yet, research-informed by local realities and local knowledge potentially has a larger impact on both practice and scholarship. It is often difficult for individual researchers to make space for local perspectives, due to their need to publish and attract funding. Therefore, research is rarely led by those who are actually vulnerable to disasters. These issues raise questions about the future of theoretical and empirical work in the field of disaster studies. For these reasons, the Disaster Studies Manifesto calls for a radical rethinking of research agendas, methods and the allocation of resources in the field. Master students, doctoral students and post-doctoral researchers are faced with these issues, like all scholars studying disasters. However, compared to established disaster scholars, early career researchers (ECR) are uniquely positioned to challenge established practices and foster innovation in their research field. This special issue provides a platform for ECR to reflect on a range of paradigmatic topics, such as those listed below.

  • Empirical contributions that explore the field’s challenges and/or exemplify novel research approaches in disaster studies, e.g. ‘How can established field practices be transformed?’
  • Methodological contributions with methodological reflections, discussions of concepts and/or practical engagements that explore new and emerging ways of conducting research, e.g. ‘Which practical barriers and methodological limitations stand in the way of inclusive disaster studies?’
  • Theoretical contributions that explore the field’s settled epistemological and/or ontological positions and new pathways forward, e.g. ‘What concepts and frameworks delineate new pathways for the field?’
  • Literature reviews that critically reflect on key texts (or concepts) from disaster studies and/or other relevant fields, e.g. ‘What literature and conceptual thinking from other fields could help identify new pathways in disaster studies?’
  • Personal reflections, discussing academic/activist/personal trajectories that have led early career researchers into disaster studies and what this means for the field and society, e.g. ‘How can ECRs’ experiences be leveraged to stimulate innovative research in disaster studies?’

To debate these and related questions, we call ECR to contribute to this special issue of Disaster Prevention and Management. We provide a platform for a new generation of voices to explore emerging pathways towards inclusive disaster studies. The idea for this special issue arose during the 2019 PhD winter school on Global Disaster Studies at the COPEnhagen Centre for Disaster Research (COPE), which fostered stimulating discussions among PhD students from diverse, multi-disciplinary backgrounds, which we seek to build on in this special issue.

Format and peer-review process

Authors are invited to submit short papers of up to 3000 words. ERC studying disasters as local insiders, especially from low-income countries, are encouraged to submit their work. This special issue offers all contributing authors mentorship by experienced disaster researchers before they submit their manuscripts for the regular double-blind peer-review process. Mentors will provide emerging scholars with feedback on their initial manuscript drafts and guide them through the publication process. The mentorship provides both valuable trainings to ECR and ensures the quality of the final publications. Each contributing author also commits to reviewing one of the other articles submitted to the special issue. After the feedback from mentors and peers has been addressed, the improved manuscript will be submitted to the regular double-blind peer-review process. Mentors and peer reviewers will be included in the acknowledgements. Before publication, authors are asked to write a public reflection on one of the other articles submitted. The initial authors are then asked to write a counter-response, also of 300-500 words, to the reflection on their own article. Each finalized article will thus have a length of up to 4000 words, including a brief exchange of ideas.

Language

We are looking for manuscripts written in English. However, please contact us, if you find it difficult to draft a manuscript in English. We would gladly try to find a solution together with you.

Deadline for abstract submission: September 30th, 2020.

We look for abstracts of 500-750 words using this Google Form, which will be reviewed by the guest editors of this special issue. Authors of selected abstracts will be notified by 15 October 2020. Then, the deadline for submitting draft papers for mentoring by an experienced academic and a feedback from a fellow ECR is 1 December 2020. Authors will be expected to formally review one paper submitted by a fellow ECR by 17 January 2021. Having received feedback from both a mentor and a fellow ECR, authors are expected to submit a full draft for double-blind peer review by 20 February 2021. Individual papers will be published online as EarlyCite shortly after being accepted. Authors are expected to write a public reflection in response to one peer’s article (300-500 words) by 1 June 2021 and write a public counter-response to the public reflection on their own paper by 1 July 2021. The special issue will be published in October 2021.

Indicative list of anticipated themes

  • Empirical contributions that explore the field’s challenges and/or exemplify novel research approaches in disaster studies. 
  • Literature reviews that compare key texts (or concepts) from previous decades of disaster research with recent texts to highlight breaks and continuities in the field. 
  • Theoretical contributions that explore the field’s settled epistemological and/or ontological positions and new pathways forward. 
  • Methodological contributions with methodological reflections, discussions of concepts and/or practical engagements that explore new and emerging ways of conducting research 
  • Personal reflections, discussing academic/activist/personal trajectories that have led early career researchers into disaster studies and what this means for the field and society.

Submission details

Full paper submissions (after mentor feedback) must be made via ScholarOne

For more information, please see the author guidelines.

Journal Editors

JC Gaillard, The University of Auckland

Emmanuel Raju, University of Copenhagen



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  • Publication date 10 Sep 2020

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